Robert Bruce Erskine

2020-10-18T15:18:17-05:00
Marine Corp Badge
  • Name: Robert Bruce Erskine
  • Location of Birth: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: November 29, 1915
  • Date of Death: July 19, 1945 (28 years old)
  • Parents: Thomas and Beulah Erskine
  • High School and Class:
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: MAJ (Major)
  • Branch: Marine Corp
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: October 16, 1940 (Enlistment Date)
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Purple Heart

  • Military Highlights:
    United States World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947:
    Name: Robert Bruce Erskine
    Gender: Male
    Race: White
    Age: 24
    Relationship to Draftee: Self (Head)
    Birth Date: November 29, 1915
    Birth Place: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Registration Place: Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Employer: Department of Taxation
    Weight: 150
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Height: 5'10"
    Next of Kin: Thomas Erskine
    Household Members: Robert Bruce Erskine
    Relationship: Self (Head)
    Household Members: Thomas Erskine
    Relationship: Father

    News article dated July 26, 1944:
    "Missing in Pacific"
    Word was received on Monday that Major Robert Erskine of Grand Rapids was missing in action in the Pacific.
    While there is hope that he may still be alive, the news was a distinct shock to the community.
    Robert Erskine was 28 years of age. Born in Grand Rapids he attended the local schools, sought higher education and went, about two and a half years ago, into the Marine Corps. He was a flier whose exploits and achievements were known in the Pacific and his abilities were recognized by promotion.
    The young man is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Erskine of Grand Rapids and his wife, the former Jean Patton, is now living in the community."



    News article dated July 27, 1944:
    "Major Robert Erskine Missing in Action"
    Major Robert Erskine, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Erskine of Grand Rapids, was reported Monday by the War Department as "missing in action."
    With the marine air corps in the South Pacific for more than a year past, Major Erskine has been many times featured in important news releases. He enlisted in 1941, received his commission at Pensacola, Florida, and his captain's commission at Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1943. He was promoted to major in March of 1943.
    Major Erskine's mother and Mrs. Jerome Meyers of Grand Rapids, the latter family formerly of Coleraine are sisters. Lt. Donald Meyers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Meyers, a pilot, was reported missing in action in December of 1942 and no trace of him was ever found.
    Major Erskine was flying a Corsair fighter plane and was in charge of his squadron on the mission from which he did not return."


    Robert's remains were non recoverable.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:
    Killed in Action

  • Civilian Life:
    Married to Jean P. Erskine. Robert and Jean had a son born on November 17, 1943 who died the day he was born.

    Robert is listed among the Tablets of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial in Hawaii. Robert's marker is in Itasca Calvary Cemetery at Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (Plot I-G-11-02)

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):